If you’re hoping to improve your goal setting strategy for 2024, look no further than this blog because if I had to guess…
You’ve set goals before and if you haven’t followed through on them, you might be making one key mistake that I’ve seen tons of our clients make.
In this blog you’ll learn exactly what that one key mistake is, and I’ll explain what to do instead.
Prefer to learn on video? Watch here:
By the way, my name is Dr. Karin Nordin. Not only am I an expert in self-development, I got a PhD focused on behavior change, but I’m also the CEO and founder of Body Brain Alliance. We help regular people live intentional, meaningful lives through real science and compassion first change.
If that sounds right up your alley, make sure you sign up to get weekly behavior change tips, delivered to your inbox.
Today we’re delving into the essence of goal setting.
It’s a reminder I will scream into the universe over and over and over again.
Do not, I repeat, do not create a goal from the place of self-hate, sensitivity, or hurt. Particularly during the holidays when triggers can make us feel less than our best.
Let me get personal for a minute.
Last December, after a few days of indulging in Uber Eats, I found myself feeling super bloated and less than fantastic. Standing in front of the mirror, my diet culture brain kicked into high gear and I heard this little voice start to urge me to make weight loss my goal for the following year.
NOTE: That’s not something I was thinking about or interested in before that moment.
It was purely coming from that frustrated, bloated, less than satisfied place. As an expert, my red flags went up. I know what you’re probably thinking…
But Karin, I felt motivated from these types of frustration driven goals before, and that’s pretty normal.
Setting a goal from a place of self dislike or hurt does work for a very short period of time. But short-term motivation just leads to long-term frustration.
If you’re wondering why you’re always falling off the wagon, it might be because you’re setting these types of self-hate based goals.
This principle extends beyond body image.
Comments about your life’s direction, unmet expectations or unsolicited opinions can feel like a poke triggering negative emotions. Setting a goal in that moment feels like relief, but that relief doesn’t last.
If you do pursue that goal, every time you think about it, you’re brought back to that unfortunate moment.
No wonder you give up.
Even if we don’t experience any negative self-talk moments… The holidays can make us focus on what we think we should improve or what other people want us to change and distract us from our real desires, values and preferences.
Being driven by “shoulds” rather than our true desires is scientifically known as controlled motivation.
It’s shown to be the more unhelpful form of motivation when it comes to goals.
Here’s the paradigm shift I want you to take.
This year, in your goal setting approach, create goals that emanate from a place of empowerment, acceptance, and genuine excitement.
It’s not about fixing ourselves, it’s about creating the best version of ourselves.
Take weight loss goals, for example… Often they originate from a hurt place, leading to the statistically low New Year’s resolution completion rates.
What we truly need are goals that resonate with us in the long term. Goals that excite and empower us beyond the initial burst of motivation.
If you find your brain nudging you towards setting goals from a place of hurt, here’s a practical piece of advice. Just wait.
When those negative thoughts surface, acknowledge them without immediate action.
Last year, when I was grappling with those body image concerns, I told my brain that it’s all right. It’s all right to have those thoughts, but no decisions about next year are being made in this moment.
It’s about recognizing that we don’t have to act on every negative thought we have.
We have the power to choose our responses.
Instead, the journey towards a positive mindset involves being intentional with our thoughts and actions. It’s about understanding that societal pressure and external comments don’t define our worth.
It’s about choosing empowerment over self-criticism, acceptance over rejection, and excitement over fear.
Pro Tip: If you’re hoping to change your relationship with yourself and ditch the self-hate that often comes with self-help. Make sure you take a peek at our Change Academy membership.
I hope this blog serves as a reminder to set goals from a place of empowerment and self-creation, not as a reaction to temporary discomfort.
Embrace yourself, focus on the aspects you love, and view personal development as a journey of self-creation. Remember, you do not need to be fixed.
Thank you for reading, see you in the next one!